Exposure to second-hand smoke in public places and barriers to the implementation of smoke free regulations in the Gambia: a population-based survey

Bai Cham, Noreen Dadirai Mdege, Linda Bauld, John Britton, Umberto D'Alessandro

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Introduction. Second-hand smoke is associated with more than 1.2 million deaths per year among non-smokers. Smoking in public places is prohibited in The Gambia but there is no information on the level of exposure to second-hand smoke among adolescents and adults 15-64 years. The aim of this study was to assess the level and predictors of exposure to second-hand smoke in public places and compliance with smoke free regulations in The Gambia.

Methods. A population-based survey was conducted in an established Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS). A total of 4547 participants (15-64 years)from households within the Farafenni HDSS were interviewed at their homes but only 3533 were included in our analysis. Factors associated with exposure to second-hand smoke in public places were assessed by three different multivariable regression models.

Results. Exposure to tobacco smoke in public places was high (66.1%, ), and higher in men (79.9%) than women (58.7%). Besides being male, less education, lower household income, urban residence and not aware of smoke free regulations were strongly associated with exposure to second-hand smoke.

Conclusion. Despite existing smoke-free regulations, reported exposure to second-hand smoke remains high in public places in The Gambia. The Ministry of Health should continue to strengthen their advocacy and sensitization programs to ensure smoke free regulations are fully implemented. Some population subgroups are at a higher risk of exposure and could be targeted by interventions; and settings where these subgroups are exposed should be targeted by enforcement efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6263
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2021

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